Home Institution

Colorado College

Publication Date

Fall 2017

Program Name

Iceland and Greenland: Climate Change and The Arctic


This paper looks at the role of youth environmental activism in Iceland and how these actors view their work in a country which has long held a reputation as one of the greenest in the world. Much of the credit for that distinction goes not to careful choices, sacrifice, or excellent stewardship but rather to its ideal geography providing massive geothermal energy which Iceland turns into electricity, a clean renewable source. So are there young environmental activists in Iceland, and if so what do they do? Short answer: yes, and they study and talk. The long answer is more complex. On a global scale, youth serve as necessary actors in the affairs of environmental issues, and Icelandic youth are no exception. Pulling from six interviews with youth identified as environmentalists by themselves and their peers, these key players were found to be engaged in multiple ways, considering themselves to hold an important and developing role in the country. This paper further looks at ways in which future generations of environmental activists can be encouraged to join the fight for planet Earth both in Iceland and internationally.


Climate | Earth Sciences | Environmental Sciences | Environmental Studies | European Languages and Societies | Human Ecology | Place and Environment | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Sustainability



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